Spring officially starts in a few days, and it means it's time for Texas electric customers to shop for a low electric rate before prices start rising with the summer heat. Customers should find and compare the lowest electric rates in Texas to take advantage of the low energy prices that come with spring.
Spring has always been one of the best times to shop for a low electric rate in Texas, for several reasons. First, the spring months of March and April are known as "shoulder" months in the electric industry, during which time customers use less power. Moderate spring weather means customers are not heating their homes for as many hours as they were doing in the winter, and thus are not using as much electricity, or burning as much natural gas (which drives energy prices). But temperatures are also cool enough so that customers aren't running air conditioners all day long, which spike electric usage during the summer months.
Since customers use less power during the spring, demand for electricity is lower during the spring, and prices fall with lower demand.
Because Texans use less power during the spring, there's also less "congestion," or traffic, on the state's electric grid. During the summer, Texans are using so much electricity for air conditioning, the state's transmission wires bottleneck like a freeway during rush hour, and the cheapest electricity -- such as from wind farms in West Texas -- can't make it into the areas where people consume the most power like Houston, Dallas, and Corpus Christi. However, because there's less traffic on the grid during the spring, all that cheap wind power from West Texas can flow east to the large metropolitan areas of the state, and thus lower the energy prices available to customers during the spring months.
Of course, this spring is an even better time to shop for a low electric rate as Texas is seeing its lowest power prices in years. Reduced demand for electricity and gas due to the recession, coupled with the normal spring price decline, has cut Texas electric rates in half versus the prices seen just two years ago during the spring of 2008. Texas electric rates are even lower by 10-15% versus the historic lows seen in 2009.
All and all, it makes it the perfect opportunity to lock in a low electric rate before the summer.